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White Sand Beaches: Where to go in the Philippines

Philippines is one of the homes of the world’s best shores. You have plenty of beach front varieties to choose from depending on your color and sand type preferences. The country offers fine and crystalline-black, smooth brown, alluring gray, gorgeous peach, and of course, the bright and powdery white sand shorelines. This article shows a compilation of the famous and yet to be discovered white sand beaches in the Philippines.

Top in the list is Boracay

Boracay was recognized as the world’s best island by the Travel + Leisure magazine in 2012 and second best (right after Palawan) in 2013. The island showcases smooth and fine white sands that cover’s a 4-kilometer beach front. This is a popular destination for a wide tourist budget range, from backpackers to luxurious spenders. Check the list of Boracay’s luxury accommodations here.

boracay island beachfront

Boracay’s White Beach

PAL Express and Cebu Pacific fly from Manila to Caticlan (the closest airport) using smaller, turboprop planes. You can also take flights from Manila to Kalibo and take a 1.5 to 2-hour land transfer to the drop-off port. 2GO Travel also has trips from Batangas City port to Caticlan. Check their websites for the schedules.

El Nido is a destination on the rise

Before, only the privileged few had the access to Palawan’s frontier. Now, there are budget-friendly tours that allows even backpackers to witness the wonders of El Nido. Apart from the beaches are towering spectacles of limestone cliffs, astoundingly clear waters, and ultra diverse marine life.

el nido resorts sandbar

El Nido

Major Philippine airlines have daily trips from Manila to Puerto Princessa City in Palawan. From Puerto Princessa, you’ll have to take a bus or van to reach El Nido.

Coron comes very close

Like El Nido, Coron is also located in Palawan. Beach hopping, snorkeling, shipwreck diving, lake traversing, and hot spring bathing are the activities to look forward to in Coron. You must include Malcapuya, Banana, Bulog, and Bahul islands in your adventure. Cayangan (Kayangan) Lake, the most marketed scenery in Coron, is a must-visit. I promise you, it is a lot more stunning than the post card photos.

Bulog Island, Coron

Bulog Island, Coron

You can reach Coron from Manila via Busuanga Airport.

Calaguas Island Group deserves a mention

The Mahabang Buhangin Beach in Tinaga Island of Calaguas Island Group is comparable to that of Boracay but not as commercialized. There is no electricity, no stores, no hotel, and no restaurant. Only a small minority reside in the inner part of the island. You have to bring your own tent for shelter at night and you need to cook your own food.

The beach may be remote or secluded but its beauty is more than enough to pay the price of reaching this hidden wonder.

mahabang buhangin calaguas

Mahabang Buhangin Beach, Tinaga Island, Calaguas

From Manila, you have to take a bus to Daet, Camarines Norte. You can ask the local folks in Daet on how to reach Vinsons, a neighboring town where boats to Calaguas can be rented.

Caramoan Islands, a Survivor hotspot

Caramoan in Camarines Sur has always been a favorite site of the Survivor franchise. It hosted the US, France, Israel, India, Sweden, Bulgaria, Serbia, and lot more international versions of the popular reality show. I wonder why Survivor keeps on coming. I guess, there is always beauty in a moment of seclusion.

Sabitang Laya, Matukad Beach, Tayak Island, Gota Village, Omang Cave, and Hunongan Cove are just few of the places to visit while in Caramoan.

Sabitang Laya, Caramoan

Sabitang Laya, Caramoan

Daily flights from Manila to Naga City, Camarines Sur are available. From Naga City, you can take a van to reach Caramoan.

Panglao in Bohol is not just an alternative

When it comes to white sand beaches in the Visayas, Panglao is one of the few that comes in mind. Alona Beach is the most popular in Panglao but there are other beaches like Bagobo, Bolod, Danao, Doljo, and Momo beaches that offer equally scenic beach front.

Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol

Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol

Take Cebu Pacific, Zest Airways, or Philippine Airlines from Manila to Tagbilaran. There are local transport services in Tagbilaran City that offer to convey you to Panglao.

Island Garden City of Samal sounds like a wonder

The City, I mean, the Island, or should I say the Island City is also known as a the largest resort city in the Philippines because of the number of beach resorts surrounding the city, i mean the island – no – the island city. Samal is an island to visit in Mindanao particularly in the Davao region.

Buenavista Island Resort Samal

Buenavista Island Resort Samal

You can reach the Island by barge or ferry from Davao City.

Camiguin reigns

This volcanic island is the home of the famous all-white-sand, White Island (sandbar) and the snorkeling haven, Mantigue Island. Camiguin also features spectacular waterfalls and historical underwater cemetery.

White Island with Mount Mambajao and the Old Volcano in the background

White Island with Mount Mambajao and the Old Volcano in the background

The easiest access to Camiguin from Manila is via a plane ride Cagayan de Oro City (CDO) and from CDO, you can take a fast craft to the Island. There are also other cheaper alternatives like taking a bus from CDO to Balingoan town then take a ferry (Ro-Ro) to Camiguin. Cebu Pacific also offers flight from Cebu to Camiguin.

The beach wonder of the North, Pagudpud

Pagudpud is a silent town but when you search it remote corners, you can see majestic waterfalls, peculiar rock formations, and of course picture-perfect white coastlines. You can visit Saud beach or the Blue Lagoon to see its real beauty.

Saud Beach Pagudpud

Saud Beach Pagudpud

To reach Pagudpud, you have a choice to take a 12-hour bus ride or a 45-min plane from Manila to Laoag City, Ilocos Norte and then another 2-hour bus ride from Laoag City to Pagudpud.

 
Comments

Great summary of some of the best beaches the Phils has to offer. And I can’t say which is my fave. I loved Bora, but it’s ultra touristy feeling takes away from it a bit compared with, say, Panglao Island off Bohol. You should also check out Malapascua Island. It was gorgeous before Yolanda — not sure how they’re doing there now, but I’m sure the beauty is unchanged. And it’s tough to get to, so it keeps the package tourists away, which is always a bonus. And you’ve reminded me that I still need to get my butt up to Ilocos Norte to Pagudpud. So thanks for that!

Thanks, Sir Mike! I believe Malapascua was partly devastated during the typhoon. Hope they’re doing well now. I suggest you to see Calaguas at least once while it is still not highly commercialized – that if, you’re fine with sleeping in a camp (tent).

for me El Nido is the MOST BEAUTIFUL of them all ! ;D

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